New England, Midwest Dioceses offer grants to help parishes put their “faith in action”

Delegates to the 2011 Assembly of the Diocese of New England approved a “Parish Grant Initiative” program by which parishes were encouraged to apply for financial grants to support outreach and charity programs in their communities. The diocese budgeted up to $10,000.00 in grant funds to help support parishes in these efforts.

At the February 2012 Diocesan Council meeting, the Grant Committee announced that two parishes Holy Trinity Church, Willimantic, CT, and Christ the Savior Church, Southbury, CT are the first parishes to receive grants through the program.

Holy Trinity Church will use the grant to host an area fundraiser, the “Walk for Warmth,” in November 2012. This walk will be held in partnership with the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry, of which the parish has been active for more than five years. By hosting this event, the parish will open its doors to upwards of 250 Windham County residents. For many, it will be the first time they will have been in an Orthodox church. The grant will help defray food and printing expenses. Archpriest Marc Vranes, rector, also is preparing handouts about Orthodox Christianity in general and the parish in particular to distribute to Walk participants.

Christ the Savior parish will use its grant to support and expand the Connecticut Bible Lecture Series, a project initiated by the parish in 2004. Twice each year, Father Paul Tarazi, a lecturer at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY, presents a day-long course on one book of the Bible. His presentations are recorded and broadcast on the radio and the internet as a means of reaching others. While attendees include faithful from area OCA, Greek, Antiochian, and other parishes, approximately half of the Series’ participants represent non-Orthodox traditions. The grant will fund costs associated with the speaker, advertising, and refreshments.

Grant applications and related information are available on the diocesan web site at

In related news, the Diocese of the Midwest is now accepting applications for “Parish Development Grants” for the fifth consecutive year.

Parish Development Grants are lump sum cash grants available to any diocesan community. They provide “seed money” to initiate and develop new ministries or to expand existing ministries in specific ways. Grants are commonly offered in amounts of $2,000.00 to $3,000.00, although larger grants may be considered.

“These grants can be an important part of a community’s efforts to continually strengthen its ability to live a life in Christ in community,” said his Grace, Bishop Matthias in a recent letter to all parish clergy. “I am encouraging every parish to seriously consider submitting a grant proposal for a project important to its faithful.”

Applications available at must be submitted no later than August 1, 2012. Grant decisions will be made by the Diocese’s Parish and Mission Development Committee, comprised of members of the Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Council.

A partial list and photos of over a dozen past grant projects is available at